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Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resource Association

Annual Legal Update

  • 06 Apr 2017
  • Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, 280 Merrimack St, 4th Floor, Suite 400, Lawrence, MA, (Entrance North B


  • Speakers Guest
  • Sponsor

Registration is closed

Thursday, April 6, 2017



Approved for 3.00 general SHRM & HRCI credits. 

Please note that this is an extended program that will begin at 9 AM and run until 12:00 PM

Lessons from the Prior Year: Top Cases & Regulatory and Statutory Update

A comprehensive overview of major legislative, regulatory and case law developments, including developments at MCAD, EEOC and other state and federal agencies, and significant court decisions

Looking Forward/Hot Topics in Labor, Employment, and Employee Benefits Law 

What should employers look for in the coming months? Topics will include some one or all of the following: Wage and Hour Law, the NLRB, and discrimination and leave laws.

Marijuana in the Workplace

Practical tips on how to navigate the recent Marijuana laws, including the interaction between state and federal law, best practices, disciplinary measures, and obligations of employers related to reasonable accommodations and the use of medicinal marijuana.

Wage Gaps

This section will review the New Mass Equal Pay Act.  It will also provide an update on the EEOC’s upcoming new EEO-1 reporting requirements. 


New Hampshire Legal Update

With the national trend focusing on the return of power to the states by the federal government, state legislatures and agencies are increasingly stepping in to regulate the workplace.  In addition, the state courts, including the NH Business Court, are issuing important decisions impacting employers.   This program will discuss important employment law decisions issued by the New Hampshire courts in the past year, pending legislation, and recently enacted legislation as well as important developments at  the NH Department of Labor and the NH Human Rights Commission. 

Case Study 

This presentation will discuss the evolving changes in immigration law and how these changes may impact employers.



Our Speakers:  Kathryn M. Murphy, Sarah Catignani & Kier Wachterhauser  of 

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP &

Debra Najjar of Najjar Employment Law Group, PC

Kathryn Murphy practices in labor and employment law with a focus on representing clients in employment matters, conducting trainings and investigations, drafting employment documents, and providing day-to-day general advice.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Murphy served three years with the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including two years as an Assistant Attorney in the Fair Labor Division where she handled criminal and administrative enforcement of labor laws including wage and hour, public construction, health and safety, child labor, unemployment taxation, and workers’ compensation insurance.

In 2011 Ms. Murphy obtained her certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).  Ms. Murphy graduated cum laude from the Suffolk University Law School where she served as an Editor on the International Law Review.  Before practicing law, Ms. Murphy practiced as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Sarah Catignani – Ms. Catignani is an associate attorney with the firm. She practices primarily in the labor and employment area, representing both public and private clients.  Ms. Catignani also handles education issues.  Ms. Catignani has represented clients before a number of courts and administrative tribunals at both the state and federal level.  She regularly conducts seminars and training programs on unlawful harassment, preventing discrimination, and a variety of other labor and employment issues.  Ms. Catignani has completed all the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination-certified “Train-the-Trainer” courses.


Ms. Catignani graduated from Bates College in 2007. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Catignani spent a year working on a presidential campaign and then served as a presidential appointee at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington, D.C.  She received her Juris Doctor, with Honors, from Boston College Law School in 2012. In law school, Ms. Catignani interned at the Massachusetts Superior Court. As a law student, Ms. Catignani was a member of the Jessup International Moot Court team.  The team won the Northeast Super Regional Competition and, in the Jessup Cup International Rounds, Ms. Catignani individually placed 3rd among several hundred oralists. She was a co-recipient of the third year best oralist award at Boston College Law School.  Prior to matriculating with the firm, Ms. Catignani worked for a presidential campaign as a law clerk and was sent to a targeted swing state to serve as the Election Day Operations Director for the general election.


Kier Wachterhauser - Mr. Wachterhauser represents private and public sector clients in all areas of labor and employment law, and also maintains a general litigation practice.  Mr. Wachterhauser regularly counsels clients on employment matters, including discrimination and harassment, wage and hour, and leave law matters, drafts employment policies and contracts, and represents clients in employment-related litigation before state and federal courts and administrative bodies, such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Mr. Wachterhauser also maintains an extensive labor practice, representing clients in the collective bargaining process, arbitration hearings, and proceedings in front of administrative agencies such as the Civil Service Commission and Department of Labor Relations.


Mr. Wachterhauser received his Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Boston University Law Review.  In law school, Mr. Wachterhauser was awarded the Faculty Award for Academic Accomplishment.  Prior to attending law school, Mr. Wachterhauser spent several years working in the consulting field, providing guidance to administrators of hospitals and universities on a variety of business-related matters.   Mr. Wachterhauser received a Masters of Arts degree from Northwestern University and graduated from Swarthmore College with honors.


Debra Dyleski-Najjar, Esq., is president and founder of the Najjar Employment Law Group, P.C. with offices located in Boston and North Andover. She founded NELGPC in April 2008 as a labor, employment and benefits boutique law firm to provide strategic legal advice, backed by litigation expertise, for employers.  NELGPC works to keep employers ahead of the curve, not only complying with the law but strategically designing best practices for long range management of the workplace and risk mitigation.   Ms. Najjar is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has practiced employment law for over thirty-three (33) years.  Before establishing NELGPC, she was an equity partner in the Boston office of a 250-attorney regional law firm, with offices in Boston, Providence and Concord.  In addition to defending employers in state, federal and agency litigation, she is a frequent author, lecturer, counselor, and trainer on workplace issues including compliance with state and federal laws.  Due to Ms. Najjar’s significant professional accomplishments, in 2007, she was nominated by her peers and inducted as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and now serves as Chair of the First Circuit Credentialing Committee.   For over ten consecutive years, she has been recognized as a New England Super Lawyer, a recognition bestowed on the top 5% of attorneys.  She served on the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors of the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (2015-2017), and is an active member of the New Hampshire Bar Association moderating the annual Labor and Employment State Conference for the past fifteen years. She also serves as the Legislative Director of the Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resource Association and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) A-Team.  She is a graduate of Wellesley College, magna cum laude Durant Scholar, and Boston University School of Law, summa cum laude, third in her class and an Editor of the Law Review. She is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as the United States Supreme Court, and is a credentialed member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA).


Cost of this event is:

GMVHRA Member $75.00

Non-Member $95.00

10% discount for 2 or more attendees from the same organization.   Discount cannot be applied at registration but will be refunded after the event.


Our Sponsor:


Originally launched in January 1998, Integrated Human Resources is a leading provider of human resources consulting in Massachusetts.  Their HR team provides hands-on HR on the full life cycle of an employee. Integrated Human Resources’ clients are smaller businesses with less than 50 employees and the HR team currently manages 1,800 worksite employees in multiple industries.

Integrated has a solid reputation for providing high return-on-investment human resources and being a great place to work. In February, they won the 2017 Small Business of the Year Award.





8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Check-In & Networking
8:30 AM - 8:50 AM Welcome New Members & Guests/Chapter Business

8:50 AM - 9:00 Sponsor
9:00 AM -12:00 PM Program

LOCATION: Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley,  280 Merrimack St, 4TH Floor, Suite 400, Lawrence, MA   (Entrance North B)  - Please be sure to park in the spaces that are marked in yellow (these are further back toward the river).  Parking in the reserved spaces marked in white may result in your car being towed - Thank you for your cooperation.

Get directions

For more information:

Contact: Carolyn Foster
Phone: 603.489.9535


183 Rockingham Rd., Ste 2 East

c/o Landmark Benefits

Windham, NH 03087



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